Environmentally best practices and optmisation in hydraulic fracturing for shale gas/oil development.

Project Coordinator: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Timon Rabczuk (Bauingenieurwesen, Institut für Strukturmechanik Modellierung und Simulation Mechanik)

This research brings together the complementary expertise of our consortium members to gain a better understanding of the physics in hydraulic fracturing (HF) with the final goal to optimize HF practices and to assess the environmental risks related to HF. This requires the development and implementation of reliable models for HF, scaled laboratory tests and available on-site data to validate these models. The key expertise in our consortium is on modelling and simulation of HF and all partners involved pursue different computational approaches. However, we have also some partners in our consortium which focus on scaled laboratory tests and one company which can provide on-site data.

The choice of the best model for HF still remains an open question and this research promises to quantify uncertainties in each model and finally provide a guideline how to choose the best model with respect to a specific output parameter.

01.01.2017-31.12.2020 (extended to 30.06.2022)

Project program:
H2020-MSCA-RISE 2016
Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research and Innovative Staff Exchange (RISE)

This EC-funded project involves six European partners and four international partners, from academia and industry.

The final objective is to employ these models in order to answer some pressing questions related to environmental risks of HF practices, including

  • How does HF interact with the natural fractures that intersect the shale seam?
  • How does the fracture network from a previous stage of HF treatment affect the fracture network evolution in succeeding, adjacent stages?
  • What are the requirements to constrain fractures from propagating to the adjacent layers of confining rock? The exchange and training objectives are to:
    Enhance the intersectoral and interdisciplinary training of ERs and ESRs in Computational Science, Mining Geotechnics, Geomechanics, Modeling and Simulation
  • Strengthen, quantitatively and qualitatively, the human potential in research and technology in Europe
  • Advance the scientific contribution of women researchers in this area dominated by male
  • Create synergies with other EU projects
  • Enable and support all ESRs/ERs to keep contact with international community in the sense of training and transfer of knowledge


Innovative materials solutions for Transport, Energy and Biomedical sectors by strengthening intergration and enhancing research dynamics of KMM-VIN.

The primary S&T objective of INNVIN is to boost KMM-VIN’s research offering for industry and make it reach the target groups, i.e. companies and SMEs in transport, energy and biomedical sectors. The enhanced dynamism of joint research activities of KMM-VIN members should lead to more intensive services for industry in form of R&D and non-R&D contracts and consultancy on commercial conditions.
CISM-Lab cooperates with the network in finding new members from industry to be included in KMM-VIN partnership.


2011-2014 (VII Frame Program NMP)

444.000,00 €

23 European partners


  • To increase the financial viability of KMM-VIN;
  • To improve the coordination in research and innovation;
  • To build a more robust critical mass of the durable integrated structure;
  • To boost dynamism of research, technological development and innovation in the field;
  • To build a better structure of the European Research Area.


Integrated decision support system for Risk Assessment and Management of the Watersediment-Soil System at river basin scale in fluvial ecosystems

The objective of the project is to develop and validate a new Decision Support System (DSS) for the risk assessment and management for the prevention and/or reduction of the negative impacts caused by global change and human activities on the water/sediment/soil system at river basin scale in fluvial ecosystems. The DSS will combine and integrate environmental and geo-physical data from earth observation systems, on-site sensors and geo-referenced information, advanced computer simulation and graphical visualisation methods and artificial intelligence tools for generating knowledge contributing to the assessment of the ecological impact of hazards in fluvial ecosystems and the design of effective response actions maximising the integrity and safety of the ecosystem and human life.


2006-2009 (VI Frame Program EU-STREP)

2.6 million €

8 European partners


  • – Computer simulation;
  • – ANN methodology methods and experience for environmental and geotechnical modeling and fluid-dynamic analysis of fluid ecosystems;
  • – Apply the RAMWASS DSS to the Po river delta area.


Knowledge-based Multicomponent Materials for durable and safe performance

The Network of Excellence ‘Knowledge-based multicomponent materials for durable and safe performance’ (KMM-NoE) has been established in order to create a coherent pan-European structure of key academic and research institutions, SMEs and large industry partners in the field of knowledge-based multicomponent materials designed for safe and durable performance in highly demanding loading and environmental conditions. Such materials include functionally graded materials, metal-ceramic composites and intermetallics.
CISM cooperates with the network because it organizes the annual Summer Schools.


2004–2008 (VI Frame Program EU-IST)

8.1 million €

38 European partners


  • Multiscale analysis of multicomponent materials;
  • Dissemination of results through high level schools.


Cost-Effective, Sustainable and Innovative Up grading Methods for Fire Safety in Existing Tun nels

UpTun main objective was to develop, validate and promote innovative, durable and low-cost (detecting, monitoring and mitigating) measures to limit the probability and consequences of fires in tunnels and to improve the safety of end-users.


2002-2006 (V Frame Program EU-Growth)

6 million €


  • 40 European partners
  • 7 workpackages

Goals: Fire Effects and Tunnel Performance: System Response

  • Improve the safety of tunnels;
  • Thermal and mechanical effects on concrete subjected to high temperature;
  • Numerical analysis.

Results of University of Padua team in cooperation with CISM:
Code for Hydro-Thermo-Mechanical analysis of concrete.


Integrity Assessment of Large concrete Dams

The integrity and safety assessment of concrete dams plays an important role for the infrastructure of many states of the EC. However, the water reservoirs created by those dams are often considered as a potential hazard to the population. The safety of these important structures is of great concern to the owners, operators and engineers as well as to the public. This was the motivation to establish a thematic network, which brought together government authorities, researchers from universities and end users from companies to conduct a state of the art review on integrity and safety assessment tools for concrete dams, to map current research activities and to identify the needs for further research activities.


2002-2005 (V Frame Program EU-Growth)

918.000,00 €


  • 30 European partners
  • 5 workpackages

Goals: Ageing of Dam Concrete and Repair Work

  • Stato dell’ arte sui problemi d’invecchiamento delle dighe in c.a.;
  • Implementazione delle reazioni AAR in programmi di calcolo;
  • Simulazioni su casi reali.

Results of University of Padua team in cooperation with CISM:
Simulation of hydraulic fracture and degradatin due to Alkali Aggregate Reactions.


Modelling of Ageing in Concrete Nuclear Power Plant Structures

MAECENAS has developed a comprehensive reliability-based analysis assessment tool to determine the risk of an unacceptable reduction in the structural safety of reinforced prestressed concrete containment vessel (PCCV) and prestressed concrete pressure vessels (PCPV) as a result of operational and environmental ageing effects.
For the first time a complete analysis capability considers the complex moisture transport, creep, shrinkage and fracturing processes under elevated temperature for concrete suffering multi-axial stress states. Test data on the behaviour of aged concrete have been gathered to create a thermodynamically consistent constitutive theory.


2001-2004 (V Frame Program EU-Euratom)

1 million €

30 European partners


  • Risk analysis;
  • Integrity assessment of nuclear plants;
  • Numerical modellization.

CISM Results:
CODE for Hydro-Thermo-Mechanical analysis of concrete.


Mathematics, Computing and Simulation for Industry

MACSI network with academic as well as industrial nodes, was devoted to promote the use of mathematical models, computing and simulation in industry. To this end it organized activities (meetings, workshops, etc) to increase awareness in both academia and industry of the potential of mathematics and simulation, and also to stimulate cooperation.


2000-2004 (V Frame Program EU-IST)

1.27 million €


  • 24 European partners
  • 17 workpackages


  • Identify industrial problems;
  • Use advanced mathematical and computational techniques.

CISM Results:
– if-Expert tool, in cooperation with Prof. Tasso and available on Macsi-net website.

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